The Birth of Wiki Advocates Philippines User Group

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The Wiki Advocates Philippines User Group is now officially recognized!

The Wiki Advocates Philippines User Group is a group of volunteer Filipino Wikimedians who support the open sharing of knowledge through the various Wikipedia projects, as well as the use of these sites for education and the advancement of gender equality,  organizing initiatives to advance the open knowledge ecosystem, supporting global human rights advocacy, and empowering communities through project development.

We have started to informally organize as a group since 2019 in a stagnant incubator project, which is now the Central Bikol Wiktionary. There were only four active community members back then, working hand in hand with translating the main pages, fixing the templates, and ensuring that the Catanalysis tracked consistent editing activities. As active participants in WikiGap, we have come across another annual campaign that addresses the gender gap in various wiki projects in 2020, the Art+Feminism campaign. From there, gender equality has been another part of our objectives. During the pandemic, while we are confined in our own homes, the group has still managed to delve into other projects ranging from education and the possibility of installing open-access learning portals to remote communities; thus, we have conducted the distribution of Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom modules and donated a Kiwix device to another island. By October 26, 2020, the Philippines was struck by a signal number 5 typhoon Goni. We then organized the Philippines Climate Change translate-a-thon, and later joined the global initiative of WikiForHumanRights campaign, which also tackles the impact of climate change in our world. As we moved forward and grew in number, we were joined by young volunteers, who were also featured during the Wikimania 2022 presentation of the Hatch-A-Wiki project. Our application for the user group took work considering the technicalities, especially in our geographical location. Still, we are lucky enough to be supported by friends in the movement who have been there since our early days.

Members and newbie editors of the Wiki Advocates Philippines User Group (Author: Kunokuno, License:  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)

It was made possible with the efforts of the community members who have been with us since we started small, our fellow Wikimedians around the globe who have shared their knowledge on organizing and leadership, the ESEAP community, and other support staff of the WMF who have believed in our capabilities and strength as a group. It is not only a triumph for our group, but we would also like to share this with those who have stood with us during the long years of being community organizers. We give special thanks to the Art+Feminism group, Wiki World Heritage User Group, Alex Stinson for his guidance on our WikiForHumanRights campaign, Wikimedia Education for providing us a space for our education-related news, Anthere, and the whole Wiki Loves Women Group for letting us be part of the SheSaid Campaign, Butch Bustria, our group adviser, the Language Committee Members for guiding us in the development of our incubator projects, our Program Officer for grants in the ESEAP region and its committee members, the rest of the Community Resources team for never doubting our capacities for the edit-a-thons and campaigns we have run, the previous and current members of the Affiliations Committee, and lastly, the whole Wikimedia Community. Congratulations to all of us!

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